Need recommendations for camera for big rig documentary


New member
Hello all! I have an idea that I'd really like to see through, but I need a little advice before I get started. I drive a semi cross country and I'd like to mount a video camera be it tripod or otherwise, for taping my travels. I have plenty of room to set a tripod up in the floor of the truck, and barring any MAJOR bumps in the road, it should be okay. Am I going to need additional image stabilization equipment? Can I buy a camera with enough image stabilization to work sufficiently? My camera will need to have as much recording capacity as possible. I'll be recording 11+ hours of footage a day, and I don't think there's a camera out there with that much capacity, but the less I have to change discs/tape the better. Is there a camera model that I could just record the footage straight to my laptop?? It would also be nice if I could get a camera that I could see the lcd viewfinder from the driver's seat. Any ideas or suggestions would surely be appreciated!


New member
Hey. First, on stabilization, there is usually a hook on most tripods where you can hang some weight of it, and if you do that it will keep the stand steady. You could tie it so it doesnt fall, there is lots of things you can do with that. Just be creative. For recording a long time like you want to do, I know there is a program from adobe that allows you to record straight to a computer, I do not remember its name, but if I do, I will let you know. To record for 11 hours straight sounds great, but at the same time, if you want to edit a documentary and you have multiple 11 hour days to review and find the best stuff, that could take you awhile. I'm not saying you shouldn't, its your documentary, but for times sake, also if your on the road, it would probaby easier to record in shorter increments. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions.


New member
The general consensus is to NOT use tripods if your doing an indie film or doco as they take up to much time and ebergy to set up/take down. Which can effect time and budget in doing so. Thats my 2 cents on that. Might add a bit more as I go.

professor aire

With all due respect, I believe the best rule of thumb is to always use a tripod whenever possible, unless specifically aiming to obtain footage that has a handheld feel to it. Time and effort can obviously contribute to whether or not you use a tripod, but those factors are individual to each production and don't have much (if anything) to do with whether or not it is an indie film or documentary. It's up to you to decide whether or not you have the time/energy to utilize a tripod. My advice is to use a tripod whenever possible; simply because you get much steadier footage that way. Even when working with prosumer cameras the resolution can be such that any excess jerkiness at all is simply a distraction of giant proportions that prevents the viewer from focusing on and processing the content of the frame.

I don't know if you lease your truck or if you own it, but you might think about building some sort of folding boom arm that you can mount somewhere in your cab. If built so you can tighten the swing arms down this would allow you to quickly and easily reposition the camera for interesting shots, without having to extend or retract tripod legs to try and get the camera in different positions. (For example, one section of the trip you can look straight out the window, other times at you to talk, another time out the side window into the mirror, again out the window, but this time from almost over your shoulder, etc...)

Hope these ideas help...